Hearthstone's Mercenaries got some big news alongside today's card reveals and other announcements, and we've recapped the important points for you below.
Coming with this patch (23.0):
- A big task system rework - completing a task will automatically give you the next task for that Mercenary!
- Mysterious Stranger appearance rate will be smaller since the tasks are overall easier to get.
- Leaving task slots open will still give you a new daily task.
- Larger Task System Rework is being planned.
- New Mercenary added - Murky (Epic Fighter).
- Obtainable for free via the upcoming Sunken City Reward Track.
- 22 Mercenaries received balance updates or reworks!
Blizzard also gave some insight for the future of the mode:
- Mercenaries will have its big updates in X.4 patches in the future - next one in a few months.
- This includes new Mercenaries, Bounties, and Tasks.
- Events, balance changes, and bug fixes can and will happen in other patches as well.
- They're planning for a way to spend excess coins.
- This should get implemented later this year.
- Your max level Mercs will gain new specialized traits and power.
- They're also working on an expansive new end-game system to challenge your whole collection.
You can read all the details in the quotes below.
Quote From Blizzard
TASK SYSTEM REWORK
Starting with Patch 23.0, completing one Task in a Mercenary’s Task progression will automatically move you on to the next Task in that Mercenary’s progression. You can then continue that Mercenary’s Task progression until you have completed all Tasks for that Mercenary!
The Mysterious Stranger was initially designed and intended to give you more Tasks, but since that will now mostly happen automatically, we are reducing his appearance rate. He will still appear occasionally so that you can get more Tasks if you abandon a Task or complete a Mercenary’s Task progression. You will also still be able to get random new Tasks if you leave any normal Task slots open for the daily Task refresh.
The intent of this system update is to give players more of the Tasks they want, and more Tasks overall, while allowing players to explore more engaging gameplay patterns. We hope this new system will be an improvement for players trying to progress specific Mercenaries, or anybody who is always looking for the next Task to complete. We will monitor how this new system works, and make adjustments if needed, but we are also working on an even larger Task System rework that we are hoping to share more information about later on this year.
Murky (Epic Fighter)
- 11/79 Maxed Stats
- Slime Time 5 (Nature): (Speed 4) Deal 12 damage to an enemy. Give it Taunt until the end of next turn.
- Bubbly Bobble 5 (Nature): (Speed 4, Cooldown 1) Restore 13 Health to an adjacent Murloc. Swap places and both gain Divine Shield. Nature Combo: Repeat this.
- Pufferfisher 5: (Speed 7, Cooldown 1)
- (Murloc) 15 Attack, 10 Health. Deathrattle: Deal damage equal to this minion’s Attack to 3 random enemies.
- Time to Krill 4: Passive: Whenever a friendly Murloc Attacks an enemy with Taunt, give them +4 Attack.
- Slippery When Wet 4: Passive: After one of your characters loses Divine Shield or Frozen, its next ability is (3) Speed faster.
- March of the Murlocs 4: Battlecry: Summon 2 10/10 Murlocs.
Murky is available for free as part of the Voyage to the Sunken City Rewards Track. Murky portraits are available as part of the Voyage to the Sunken City Tavern Pass. Murky and his portraits will be available for purchase in Mercenaries products after the end of the Voyage to the Sunken City expansion period.
MERCENARY BALANCE UPDATES AND REWORKS
- Old: 10/82 Maxed Stats → New: 10/86 Maxed Stats
- Molten Blade (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Heating Up deals 4 more damage. → New (Rank 4): Heating Up deals 7 more damage.
- Dinner Time
- Old (Rank 5): Speed 2, Cooldown 1 → New (Rank 5): Speed 1, Cooldown 1
- Refreshing Bananas (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Bananas give an additional +4 Health. → New (Rank 4): Bananas give an additional +5 Health.
- Radioactive Bananas (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Bananas give an additional +2 Attack → New (Rank 4): Bananas give an additional +4 Attack.
- Old (Rank 5): Deal 15 damage. +3 damage each time you restore 20 Health. → New (Rank 5): Deal 20 damage. +3 damage each time you restore 20 Health.
- Robes of Purity (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Atonement requires 5 less healing to upgrade. → New: Atonement requires 10 less healing to upgrade.
- Old: 11/77 Maxed Stats → New: 13/81 Maxed Stats
- SI:7 Contract (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Tactical Strike’s Combo effect deals 4 more damage. → New: Tactical Strike’s Combo effect deals 8 more damage.
- Honing Rod (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 1): Shadow Blade gives +4 Attack first. → New: Shadow Blade gives +10 Attack first.
- Old: 6/69 Maxed Stats → 6/74 Maxed Stats
- Greater Arcane Missiles
- Old (Rank 5): Shoot three missiles at random enemies that deal 15 damage each. → New (Rank 5): Shoot three missiles at random enemies that deal 20 damage each.
- Arcane Powder (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Arcane Explosion deals 4 more damage. → New (Rank 4): Arcane Explosion deals 5 more damage and enemies lose Stealth.
- Old: 11/78 Maxed Stats → New: 12/78 Maxed Stats
- Crusader’s Blow
- Old (Rank 5): Attack an enemy. Deathblow: Restore 40 Health. → New: Attack an enemy. Deathblow: Restore 60 Health.
- Tome of Light (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Passive: While this Merc has Taunt, it has +8 Attack. → New (Rank 4): Passive: While this Merc has Taunt, it has +12 Attack.
- Blessing of Protection
- Old (Rank 5): Restore 10 Health to a friendly character and give them Taunt this turn. → New (Rank 5): Restore 14 Health to a friendly character and give them Taunt this turn.
- Lightbringer (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Hammer of Justice deals 4 more damage and slows the target by (2) Speed more. → New (Rank 4): Hammer of Justice deals 6 more damage and slows the target by (2) Speed more.
- Gleaming Pauldrons (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Avenging Wrath deals 4 more damage. → New (Rank 4): Avenging Wrath deals 8 more damage.
- Old: 11/84 Maxed Stats → New: 12/84 Maxed Stats
- Orcish Banner (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Battle Shout also restores 10 Health to your Orcs. → New (Rank 4): Battle Shout also restores 15 Health to your Orcs.
- Old: 11/71 Maxed Stats → New: 11/79 Maxed Stats
- Rending Cleave
- Old (Rank 5): Attack an enemy. If it has not acted this turn, apply Bleed (8) to it and adjacent enemies. → New (Rank 5): Attack an enemy. If it has not acted this turn, apply Bleed (12) to it and adjacent enemies.
- Drek’Thar’s Boon (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Fatal Strike also applies Bleed (5). → New (Rank 4): Fatal Strike also applies Bleed (10).
- Old: 12/73 Maxed Stats → New: 12/79 Maxed Stats
- Creeping Madness
- Old (Rank 5): Attack an enemy. Next turn they must use a different ability or take 20 damage. → New (Rank 5): Attack an enemy. Next turn they must use a different ability or take 25 damage.
- Black Dragon Scales (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Tail Swipe also applies Bleed (5). → New (Rank 4): Tail Swipe also applies Bleed (10).
Vanessa Van Cleef
- Old: 10/75 Maxed Stats → New: 13/75 Maxed Stats
- Burgle Barrage
- Old (Rank 5): Attack an enemy. Combo: Steal 5 Attack from them. → New (Rank 5): Attack an enemy. Combo: Steal 5 Attack from them first.
- Extra Pockets (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): After using Makeshift Weaponry, this Merc keeps up to 5 Attack. → New (Rank 4): After using Makeshift Weaponry, this Merc keeps up to 10 Attack.
- Arcane Salvo
- Old (Rank 5): Deal 8 damage to two random enemies. → New (Rank 5): Deal 12 damage to two random enemies. If any die, repeat this.
- Elune’s Charm (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Arcane Shot deals 5 more damage. → New (Rank 4): Arcane Shot deals 15 more damage if the enemy has already acted.
- Splitting Strike
- Old (Rank 5): Attack an enemy. Deathblow: Give your Humans +12 Attack. → New (Rank 5): Attack an enemy. Deathblow: Give your Humans +15 Attack.
- Heroic Leap
- Old (Rank 5): Deal 14 damage to an enemy. Your other Humans are permanently (1) Speed faster. → New (Rank 5): Deal 14 damage to an enemy. Your other Humans in play and bench are permanently (1) Speed faster.
- Old (Rank 5): After an enemy Attacks this turn, gain +5 Attack and Attack it. → New (Rank 5): After an enemy Attacks this turn, gain +5/+5 and Attack it.
- War Banner (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Retaliation also gives an additional +4 Attack. → New (Rank 4): Retaliation gives an additional +2/+10.
- Rain of Destruction
- Old: Speed 8, Cooldown 1 → New: Speed 8, Cooldown 0.
- Staff of Chaos (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Passive. After an Orc dies, gain +4 Fel Damage. → New (Rank 4): Passive. After an Orc or Demon dies, gain +4 Fel Damage.
- Frenzied Attack
- Old (Rank 5): Attack an enemy. If this took damage this turn, deal 12 damage to a random adjacent enemy. → New (Rank 5): Attack an enemy. If this took damage this turn, deal 16 damage to a random adjacent enemy.
- Old (Rank 5): The next time an enemy damages an adjacent ally, gain +5 Attack and deal this Merc’s Attack damage to them. → New (Rank 5): Gain +5 Attack. Each time an enemy damages an adjacent ally this turn, deal this Merc’s Attack damage to them.
- Old: 7/77 Maxed Stats → New: 9/77 Maxed Stats
- Activate Saw
- Old (Rank 5): Gain +6 Attack for 2 turns. Attack a random enemy. → New (Rank 5): Gain +9 Attack for 2 turns. Attack a random enemy.
- Skull Dust (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Bzzz!!! Gains Bleed (5). → New (Rank 4): Bzzz!!! Gains Bleed (10).
- Extra Blades (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Sneed starts with Activate Blades active for 1 turn. → New (Rank 4): Battlecry: Start with Activate Saw 5 active for 2 turns.
Edwin, Defias Kingpin
- Assassin’s Blade
- Old (Rank 5): Attack an enemy. If it hasn’t acted yet this turn, gain +5 Health and Attack it again. → New (Rank 5): Attack an enemy. If it hasn’t acted yet this turn, gain +10 Health and Attack it again.
- Kingpin’s Bounty
- Old: Speed 4, Cooldown 2. → New: Speed 4, Cooldown 1.
- Black Flag (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Passive: Adjacent Pirates are (4) Speed faster. → New (Rank 4): Passive: Your other Pirates are (4) Speed faster.
- Even Shares (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Kingpin’s Bounty restores 10 more Health and affects all friendly characters. → New (Rank 4): Kingpin’s County restores 15 more Health and affects all friendly characters.
- Lightning Storm
- Old (Rank 5): Deal 10 damage to all enemies. → New (Rank 5): Deal 10 damage to all enemies. They lose Stealth.
- Howl of Terror
- Old (Rank 5): Reduce the Attack of all enemies by 15 this turn. → New (Rank 5): Reduce the Attack of all enemies by 15 this turn. They lose Stealth.
- DIE, INSECTS
- Old (Rank 5): Deal 22 damage to a random enemy. Deathblow: Repeat this. → New (Rank 5): Deal 22 damage to a random enemy. It loses Stealth. Deathblow: Repeat this.
- Axe Throw
- Old (Rank 5): Deal 8 damage to an enemy and one of its neighbors. → New (Rank 5): Deal 10 damage to an enemy and one of its neighbors. They lose Stealth.
- Old (Rank 5): Deal 6 damage to 3 random enemy Mercs. They are (2) Speed slower next turn. → New (Rank 5): Shoot three missiles at random enemies that deal 7 damage each and slow for (2) Speed next turn.
- Chilling Amulet (Equipment)
- Old (Rank 4): Deathrattle: Deal 8 damage to all enemies. Freeze a random enemy until the end of next turn. → New (Rank 4): Deathrattle: Deal 14 damage to all enemies and Freeze a random enemy.
- While on a Bounty, the Campfire node will now allow work with one click instead of requiring it be selected and then entered.
- Vaelstrasz’s Bounty rewards will now be able to grant Murky Coins instead of Lady Anacondra Coins.
- Multiple stacks of Bleed will now be combined into a total Bleed count that can be reduced by healing, instead of erased entirely.
- Bleed damage will no longer be able to deal Critical damage.
- Adjusted Mercenary card display and screen space for better Ability previews.
Quote From Blizzard
The Future of Hearthstone Mercenaries
You may have noticed that the Mercenaries game mode added only one new Mercenary in Patch 23.0: the slippery murloc, Murky—available for free on the Rewards Track. That’s because Mercenaries will be shifting its release cadence in the Year of the Hydra.
Mercenaries will continue to have updates like events, balance changes, bug fixes, and general improvements in every patch, but the team will be shifting its major content beats to the X.4 patches. That means that the next bunch (and we do mean bunch) of new Mercenaries, Bounties, and Tasks will come in a few months. This shift will allow Mercenaries to have its own big moment like the other major modes do, and will allow the team to focus more efforts on the types of improvements that the community has been asking for.
Throughout this year, the team has plans for a way to spend excess coins, an expansive new end-game system to challenge your whole collection, and a series of improvements to the Task system, as well as more events and the continuation of regular updates to Bounties, Zones, Mercenaries. The first of those Task system updates, and a slew of Mercenary balance changes, are going live right away with Patch 23.0, and that’s just the beginning!
More From Year of the Hydra
Blizzard has plenty of new information to share about Year of the Hydra including the remaining cards for Voyage to the Sunken City.
- All 46 New Voyage to the Sunken City Card Reveals
- All Card Flavor Text for the Voyage to the Sunken City Hearthstone Expansion
- Everything You Need to Know About Hearthstone's Year of the Hydra & Core Set
- Future of Hearthstone Battlegrounds in 2022 - Seasons, E-Sports, New Keywords, Progression System and More
- Hearthstone Mercenaries Receives Big Updates in Patch 23.0 - Task System Rework, Balance Updates, & More!
- All Hearthstone Duels Updates for Patch 23.0 - The League of Explorers, Hero Selection Expands, Retired Heroic Runs, Treasures, & More
- Drek’Thar and Loatheb Are the Latest Cards To Join Hearthstone’s Diamond Club
- Our Wild Thoughts on the 24 Reverted Card Nerfs in Hearthstone's Year of the Hydra
- Open a Voyage to the Sunken City Pack in our Pack Opener
The task thing is good, but if i don't want to follow one "route of task" for a character, is possible to reroll it? Who knows...
As far as I know, you can't reroll it, only abandon it. You'll get a new task (chain) the next day for that open slot (unless you find Mysterious Challenger before that).
Yeah you're right, i said "reroll" 'cause i meant that the abandoned "route of task" should come back another day (or is it lost forever?).
Hmm, i could try that next time i found a mysterious stranger to force the find of a "route of task" of my choice... i was close to make the lasts lokolar tasks, but right now I've only other mercs beginning tasks 🤷🏼♂️
It shouldn't be lost forever, I don't think I've tried (yet) but that would sound rather punishing.
Haven't seen any Strangers after the update but I haven't been playing that much either so...
The task change is amazing.
I took Vanndar from Task 2 to Task 7 while completing Tasks 6 and 7 for Illidan and Tavish.
Aside from obviously making the Mystery node worse (there are no real benefits to it (Hot Potato, Sabotage, Blue Portal, I think it can land Spirit Healer?)), it stinks at the moment because I would have liked to use it to better task up my old mercs to 7 before doing further on their chains.
Also can I slightly complain about the Mi'da bounty? It's wrecked me twice on normal.
The demons all being neutral type would be nice, if they keep ramping up damage using that one ability, but the Voidcaller alone punishes stat gains of any kind. Like either it alone should be Neutral if it's going to use enemy attack damage (and double that because it's Caster, severely punishing Cariel's new buff) or slow it down from 5 to like 8. And then when I got Holy comp to the boss, Anduin and Velen vanished almost in a flash.
Or if they're supposed to interact with Holy in such a way like the Crusher does, give them a little Holy weakness
It's painful. I'd rather fight the Merc parties than the Void beings.
Okay, complaint over. Bring on Murky and the Naga! Maybe a new Elemental like Neptulon!
(We are doing Sunken City stuff)
The mystery node just gets more and more useless. You might want to gamble for a portal, but if you're like me, the chance of rolling spud is just not worth it. I hate that thing.
They should either add a MUCH wider variety of events or just remove the whole thing from the game.
A simpler solution would be to give us the option of accepting or refusing the mystery once we encounter it; that way, you're never penalized for exploring it.
I would also extend this option to boon encounters.
This simple change would make many more maps playable, and cut down on the number of rerolls needed to get an acceptable path, especially for the more difficult bounties. (For example, I recently had to reroll heroic Onyxia 19 times to get a safe route through the whole map!).
I don't think it ever was or ever will be the design intent to guarantee a safe route through the whole map.
The new task change means stranger grinding would be thing of the past, although you still have to get the task started first. In view of the fact that new mercs are constantly being added into the game, I might actually hold off from finishing everything just so I can chance a coin boost for the new mercs rather than get coins for mercs that I dont care about, or have maxed out.
But not having to grind up strangers is at least a welcome change.
Cariel is already good with the exact equipment im PVE. Thrall, Galvangar, Garrosh, Xyrella, Geddon all buffed! But this is also the list of the most powerful PvE Mercs. Why do the buff strong characters? Yes, I know obviousely for PvP but imho there should be distinct characters to be strong in each mode.
Super glad of the task change. By the 12th I will have finished all the other mercs' tasks, and it'll be nice to just be able to rattle off Murky's tasks in quick succession so I can get on with life without having to report in to do my dailies or hunt for Strangers!
Yeah, the task change is really nice. I'm not as far as you regarding the tasks (currently 43,87% of all tasks cleared), but now I can focus on the interesting ones (Balinda) and the ones that give packs.
So instead of nerfing Valeera they incstead decided to give a bunch of mercs completely unrelated anti-stealth mechanics meaning that thee meta will still revolve around either playing Valeera or countering her.
Just fucking nerf the bitch, it can't be that difficult, she's useless in PvE anyways.
Varden Dawngrasp is the only nerf i see there...
Um, she's really not. Being (4) speed faster is still very useful in PvE. I do find her bouncing in and out of stealth with Scabbs and buffing attack on the way more enjoyable though (doubly so now Scabbs can give himself a whole +10 attack instead of +4), so if they nerf her speed equipment then I'm chill with it.
I mean sure, but PvE doesn't really live or die by speed manipulation like PvP does. They could easily just turn it down to (2) speed faster and it would still be alright, but I guess we're just gonna artificially increase the playrate for Millhouse & co...
Agreed. I think part of their issue is that they made it equipment that needed upgrading 3 times to get to tier 4, and if they reduce it to a speed increase of (2) they'll have to change it to start at tier 3. It's something of a non-issue in my mind: just give players the 250 Valeera coins they wouldn't have needed to fully upgrade it and just change the damn thing. It fuels the excess coin problem further, but that's hardly worth screwing over PvP for.
It's great that they finally got the point where the mode and team is in such a position that mercs can have a update cycle similar to BG, just like promised when the mode launched. Not that it wasn't BG like, but instead of 1 big and multiple minor patches each month, Mercs only had monthly "medium sized" patches.
Though I do wonder if they are pushing the Mini-set a month back for this.
Related: We also got a fun new bug which locks you out of Mercs if you complete the Mida bounty. I've tested it, sadly.
It didn't lock me out of Mercs (mobile client), but it sure didn't let me try a Mida run.
Maybe they can squeeze a fix into whatever that Thursday maintenance is going to be.